High Speed Police Chase Results in Death

Date: December 8, 2010
Location: Interstate 5 North of Rice Hill
Names: James Arthur Pelkey

The Oregon State Police are continuing their investigation into a fatal Oregon car crash involving a pickup truck that left the scene of a hit and run collision and took officers on a high speed chase.

OSP Sergeant Dave Randall has stated that on December 8, 2010 at about 7:30pm a 1986 GMC pickup truck was reportedly involved in a hit and run collision northbound on Interstate 5 in the Roseburg area. A short time later a Sutherlin police officer saw the pickup headed north near milepost 136 and tried to pull it over. Failing to yield, the pickup continued north at speeds nearing 80mph while using both lanes and shoulders of the freeway. Attempts by other officers to stop the vehicle failed and the driver continued northbound. Near milepost 151 north of Rice Hill, an officer was starting to lay down spike strips in another attempt to stop the vehicle when the pickup ran into the back of the patrol car.

The driver of the pickup, James Arthur Pelkey, age 44 of Marcola, was pulled from the vehicle by fire personnel and transported by ambulance to Cottage Grove Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. At the time of the Oregon car accident, Pelkey’s driving privileges had been suspended.

We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family of Mr. Pelkey, and are sorry that they are suffering such a loss.

Although we will never know exactly why Mr. Pelkey decided not to yield to the officers, high speed chases endanger other drivers on the roadway and speed alone can kill. The Oregon Department of Transportation Safety reports that in 2008, speed-related accidents killed 216 Oregonians. That number far exceeds the amount of drunk driving fatalities! But, as always, law enforcement is in full effect, and the Oregon State Police are continually looking for ways to both protect the innocent and punish those who endanger lives. If caught speeding, you could lose your license, receive an expensive ticket, or go to jail.